BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - State Supreme Court Justice Donna Siwek has ruled that the Buffalo School Board followed state laws when appointing Doctor Pamela Brown as the new Superintendent of the Buffalo Public School District. The ruling followed a lawsuit brought on by local developer Carl Paladino, who claimed the school board broke the state's Open-Meetings Law on June 13th and 27th when it when into executive session to discuss the appointment. The former gubernatorial candidate claimed the board's decision was made entirely behind closed doors and without public input.
"When you cloak things in secrecy and when you deny transparency, you get corruption," said Paladino. "You get agendas and games being played. We have the most dysfunctional school district by far in the State of New York."
Since the beginning, the school board has denied any wrong doing and believes it was fully justified in what actions it took. In her written memorandum, Justice Siwek said the "board was within its prerogative to conduct executive sessions. It is clear from the affidavits of the board president and the vice president that no vote or formal actions were taken during the executive sessions. The nominations and votes were made during the open meetings as required by law. Lastly, the board was not legally obligated to publicly discuss the reasons behind its decisions following executive sessions"
Brown has been working for the district has a consultant for $800 a day until her official start as superintendent. A final contract is expected to be signed Wednesday night at the regular scheduled Buffalo School Board meeting.
"Whether it be for superintendent of schools or any other employment, it is something that the board can do in executive session," said Karl Kristoff. "There is a specific provision."